Alfred Watson Hands.

Italo-Greek coins of southern Italy online

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Pliny mentions a town of this name among the cities of Calabria
(III, xi), and it was also mentioned by Ptolemy (III, i, § 77).

It is known to numismatists as having issued some small bronze
coins of the same type as those of Graxa, differing only in the legend
STY, instead of TPA.

The town has been identified by Romanelli with the modern
village of Sternaccia, situated about ten miles south of Lecce (the
ancient Lupiie) and a short distance north-east of Soleto (Soletum).

(Ckiver Ital., p. 1231. Romanelli. Vol. II, p. 114). Soletum is
about sixty miles south-east ofTarentum, the coins of which city
were evidently copied by the citizens of Sturnium.

Size .65. Obv. A cockle-shell.

Rev. ITY. An eagle, to right, with wings open, standing on a

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Uxentum is one of the old native cities of the lapygians, which
from its position, five miles from the bay of Tarentum, and sixty-
five from that city, came under the influence of the Tarentines, and
issued bronze coins with types which recall those of that Greek
city. The site is only about fifteen miles from the headland called
lapygium or Salentinum, the most easterly point of Italv, which we
commonly call the heel.

The only mention of Uxentum by ancient writers is the occurrence
of the name in lists of cities of Calabria in Pliny (III, xi) and
Ptolemy (III, i, 76). Many ancient tombs have been found on the
site, from which coin: , vases, and inscriptions in the dialect of the
Messapians have been taken.

The spelling of the name varies ; for instance in the Tabula it is
spelt Uhintum, and in some Mss. of Pliny " Ulentini", but Ptolemy
gives Uxentum. Its modern name is Ugento.

In the Tauchnitz ed. of Strabo Vol. II, p. 49 the name is spelt
©upaioi, but the reading is uncertain. Kramer prefers O'jjpi.x, some
Mss. have Qjpixi, some Wopau'.. The corruption is probably the
mistake of writing for 0.

The legends on the coins give the name as 01 AN or OZAN,
giving both the earlier form I, and the later form Z, of the letter
Zf,-y: which represented the sounds of s and d mixed. The Dorians
made the s sound predominate, and the lonians the ^ sound.

Some of the coins bear only the letters AO, and the name was
probably written in ful AOIAN.

The coins witness to the cults of Pallas and Heracles, and one
type represents a Janiform head, without beard, wearing a crested
helmet designed to fit the double head. A Janiform female head" is
found on a Quincunx of Rhegtum, but that head is adorned, not
with a helmet, but with modius, stephane, earrings, and necklace.

At Paestum a Janiform head of Juno Moneta was issued, and on
early Asses of Volterra a diademed Janus head is found. The reason
of this wide distribution of the design has not yet been explained.

Thucydides in recording the events of 413 B.C. (VII, 33) men-
tions that Demosthenes and Eurymedon crossed the Ionian gulf to the

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lapygian foreland (axpav). " Starting thence they touched at the
Choerades Islands, lying off lapygia, and took on board their ships
some lapygian dartmen (xAO^-ia-y.:) one hundred and fifty in
number, of the Messapian tribe : and after renewing an old friendship
with Artas, who also had provided them with the dartmen, being
one of their chieftans, they arrived at Metapontum in Italy ". These
islands are little more than low rocks lying about four miles from
Tarentum^ now called Isole di S. Pietro e S. Paulo.

This Artas may have been the ruler of Uxentum, or ofNeretum,
and he is interesting as bearing one of the few names of Messapian
leaders known to us.


I. Size .5.

Obv. Head of Pallas to right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet
and necklace.

Rev. AO. Heracles standing nude to left holding his club
downards in his right hand and a cornucopiae and the lion's skin
in his left.

II. Size .4.

Obv. An eagle, standing to right, with wings open, on a
thunderbolt ?

Rev. AO. A two handled vase, on either side of which a star of
eight rays.

III. Size .85. It is called an As in B.M.C

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Online LibraryAlfred Watson HandsItalo-Greek coins of southern Italy → online text (page 13 of 15)